Like as a father pitieth his children - This is a very emphatic verse, and may be thus translated: "As the tender compassions of a father towards his children; so the tender compassicns of Jehovah towards them that fear him." Nothing can place the tenderness and concern of God for his creatures in a stronger light than this. What yearnings of bowels does a father feel toward the disobedient child, who, sensible of his ingratitude and disobedience, falls at his parent's feet, covered with confusion and melted into tears, with, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am not worthy to be called thy son!" The same in kind, but infinitely more exquisite, does God feel when the penitent falls at his feet, and implores his mercy through Christ crucified.
Like as a father pitieth his children - Hebrew, “Like the compassion of a father for his children.” See the notes at Matthew 7:7-11. God often compares himself with a father, and it is by carrying out our ideas of what enters into the parental character that we get our best conceptions of the character of God. See the notes at Matthew 6:9. That which is referred to here, is the natural affection of the parent for the child; the tender love which is borne by the parent for his offspring; the disposition to care for its needs; the readiness to forgive when an offence has been committed. Compare Luke 15:22-24. Such, in an infinitely higher degree, is the compassion - the kindness - which God has for those that love him.
So the Lord pitieth them that fear him - He has compassion on them. He exercises toward them the paternal feeling.
He pointed His hearers to the Ruler of the universe, under the new name, “Our Father.” He would have them understand how tenderly the heart of God yearned over them. He teaches that God cares for every lost soul; that “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Psalm 103:13. Such a conception of God was never given to the world by any religion but that of the Bible. Heathenism teaches men to look upon the Supreme Being as an object of fear rather than of love—a malign deity to be appeased by sacrifices, rather than a Father pouring upon His children the gift of His love. Even the people of Israel had become so blinded to the precious teaching of the prophets concerning God that this revelation of His paternal love was as an original subject, a new gift to the world. MB 74.1
The Jews held that God loved those who served Him,—according to their view, those who fulfilled the requirements of the rabbis,—and that all the rest of the world lay under His frown and curse. Not so, said Jesus; the whole world, the evil and the good, lies in the sunshine of His love. This truth you should have learned from nature itself; for God “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” MB 74.2
It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth produces her bounties and continues her motion round the sun. The hand of God guides the planets and keeps them in position in their orderly march through the heavens. It is through His power that summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, day and night follow each other in their regular succession. It is by His word that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom. Every good thing we have, each ray of sunshine and shower of rain, every morsel of food, every moment of life, is a gift of love. MB 74.3Read in context »
The power of God is manifested in the beating of the heart, in the action of the lungs, and in the living currents that circulate through the thousand different channels of the body. We are indebted to Him for every moment of existence, and for all the comforts of life. The powers and abilities that elevate man above the lower creation, are the endowment of the Creator. CS 17.1
He loads us with His benefits. We are indebted to Him for the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear, the air we breathe. Without His special providence, the air would be filled with pestilence and poison. He is a bountiful benefactor and preserver. CS 17.2Read in context »
The sin of evilspeaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts. Guile includes impurity in all its forms. An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled. To your closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith and with all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices. 5T 177.1
By faith and prayer all may meet the requirements of the gospel. No man can be forced to transgress. His own consent must be first gained; the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never an excuse for sin. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.” Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation. 5T 177.2
Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. When David was convicted of his sin, he poured out his soul in penitence and humiliation before God. He felt that he could endure the loss of his crown, but he could not be deprived of the favor of God. Mercy is still extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in all our wanderings: “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” The blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the pleading voice of His Spirit. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” 5T 177.3Read in context »
“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” Have any of us duly considered how much we have to be thankful for? Do we remember that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning and that His faithfulness faileth not? Do we acknowledge our dependence upon Him and express gratitude for all His favors? On the contrary, we too often forget that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” 5T 315.1Read in context »